West Seattle 10's and 11's reach final face off

By Gerardo Bolong

Strong hitting throughout the game enabled the West Seattle Little League baseball 10-11 age All-Star team to build a large lead that held up against a late rally from its opponent in an 11-5 win against previously unbeaten Rainier in championship round action of the 2013 District 7 tournament held at the PacWest fields on Thursday, July 11.

The Westsiders forced a provisional championship final to be held the next day at the same location for a berth to the state tournament in Spokane.

"After we lost to Rainier (10-9 in the winner's bracket finals) the team stayed focused for each game and built momentum," said WS manager Rick Southall, "This was a genuine team effort. Everyone contributed. They knew their backs were on the wall and stood up."

Rainier snatched a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an infield error, stolen base and passed ball, but the Westsiders took the lead with two tallies in the home half by way of one hit, two stolen bases, an infield throwing error and Isaac Patchen's RBI single.

West Seattle methodically and steadily left Rainier further behind throughout its next four inning at bats. Back-to-back singles by Don Taylor and Nate Ardales along with a wild pitch placed runners on second and third.
Left-handed hitting Justin Murphy delivered one run home on a sacrifice fly out to center field ahead of a Paul Johnson run-scoring single to help West Seattle score two second inning runs for a 4-1 lead.

In the third inning, Will Holmes led off with a West Seattle single. One infield pop fly out later, Ben Trigg singled to right field where the fielder allowed the ball to go past him, allowing a run to score as WS elevated its margin to 5-1.

Fourth inning lightning struck several times for West Seattle. A one-out base on balls to Murphy led into a two-out double and RBI by Max Debiec. Holmes added an infield single RBI to send West Seattle marching into a 6-1 command before Patchen padded the lead further by singling home run No. 7 of the game for the West Seattleites.

Rainier District finally reentered the scoring sweepstakes in the top of the fifth inning with Marco Smulling reaching first base on a single followed by an RD runner reaching base by way of an infield fielding error.
With two outs, Lewis Welsh reached base on an infield fielding error. Dillon Cooper then got on base on an outfield error that allowed two runs to score.

Any comeback hopes by Rainier were severely set back by a four-run West Seattle fifth. The Westsiders attacked with four hits and sent nine batters to the plate. Murphy's RBI single, Will Holmes' two-run single and Isaac Patchen's RBI double catapulted West Seattle into an 11-3 control. Rainier's Samuel Sproule and Aaron Barber each had run-scoring singles for the game's final tallies.

Lefty Konrad Gerhart survived the occasional storms to record a complete game victory on 72 pitches.

"I threw mainly my fastball," he said. "I wanted to make sure that I didn't throw crazy pitches and just tried to throw the ball over the plate. Even when they hit the ball, it didn't matter.

Good defense backed me up."

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